Summer drinking - keeping safe

July 01, 2023 08:00

Do we drink more in the summertime? A recent survey of drinking habits suggests a third of Britons do just that. The reasons given included the lighter, warmer evenings, more weddings and festivals taking place in the summer and the greater number of family and social get-togethers in the warm weather.

There are some special precautions that we need to take when drinking in the warmer weather. Drinking alcohol in the hot summer weather can leave you dehydrated, confused and more susceptible to accidents and injuries. One main danger of drinking during the hot summer weather is the risk of heat stroke caused by dehydration.

Alcohol lowers the body’s tolerance for heat and acts as a diuretic, meaning it causes the body to lose more fluid through urine, resulting in dehydration. If fluids in the body are not replaced, such as by drinking water, you could suffer a heat-related illness, like heat stroke. Also, a dehydrated person is likely to feel the effects of alcohol more quickly and severely than someone who is properly hydrated. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include: dry lips and tongue, headache, weakness, dizziness or extreme fatigue.

Top tip: Drink water, not alcohol to hydrate yourself.

Enjoy the summer outdoors - not in hospital

Summer is a wonderful time for outdoor activities with family and friends. For many people, a day at the park, beach, or at a barbecue will include drinking alcoholic beverages.

But excessive drinking and summer activities don’t mix. Drinking too much alcohol can impair both physical and mental abilities and it also decreases inhibitions—which can lead to tragic consequences on the water, on the road, and in the great outdoors.


Alcohol impairs judgment and increases risk-taking, a dangerous combination for swimmers. Even experienced swimmers may venture out farther than they should and not be able to make it back to shore, or they may not notice how chilled they’re getting and develop hypothermia. Even around a pool, too much alcohol can have deadly consequences.


According to research alcohol may be involved in 60 percent of boating fatalities, including falling overboard. Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision, and reaction time.. For passengers, intoxication can lead to slips on deck, falls overboard, or accidents at the dock.


When driving on holiday, drivers may be traveling an unfamiliar route with the distraction of pets and children in the car. Adding alcohol to the mix puts the lives of the driver and everyone in the car, as well as other people on the road, at risk.

Picnics and barbeques

Drinking earlier in the day due to picnics or barbeques can lead some to continue drinking all day – which, if combined with heat can cause problems.

Top tips: delay your drinking till much later, after each alcoholic drink have a non-alcoholic one, keep to the recommended lower risk drinking guidelines, drink plenty of water.